No toxic pesticides

Let’s join our Ventura County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Levin, and envision a county with no toxic pesticide (danger label) use for the next 20 years. This is our vision for the VC2040 General Plan Update.

Pesticide use depends on disposable land and people. After years of heavy use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers the soil is practically devoid of organic matter and needs life support to grow a crop. Residents in Oxnard are feeling the effects, and taking action.

They refuse to be disposable.

There used to be an “away.” We could throw stuff away and it would be gone. Now we know that there is no away. We are down wind, downstream, next to someone who will have to experience a degraded lifestyle from the trash, toxins, poison that we put out in our environment. How do we get the job done of producing food without using toxic stuff and so much fossil fuel?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies focus on long-term prevention of pests through cultural practices, resistant crop varieties, habitat manipulation, and use of biological pest control and avoid toxic chemical pesticides except as a last resort.

Indigenous peoples across the world, used farming practices that were regenerative — healing the life in the soil, the environment and the community. The study of these practices is called agroecology. How do we support our hard working farmers to adopt this style of farming?

With a VC Grown label with sensible standards for pesticide and ag chemical use, and educational programs. And the county can buy local food for its programs.

Contact your county supervisor and ask that the county support our farmers to transition to regenerative organic practices and promotion of VC Grown food in the general plan. With all the farms using non-toxic pesticides and regenerative methods, we will all breathe easier and have improved health.

Ron Whitehurst
Pest Control Advisor, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries

Summer blossoms

I have noticed that very little publications or news outlets in our region mention nature or the environment, besides the weather forecast of course. This is likely due to many people of our community finding it hard to grasp concepts such as ecology, geology, geography, and scientific ideas in general. But people need to realize that what’s around them is just as important as what is in front of them. So in the vain of people like the naturalist John Muir I have written the following, as a possible example. It is firmly in my belief that if the VCReporter publishes something of this sort that it can create for itself a good opportunity at having something that no other local paper has. People are naturally interested in the fascinating, and with things such as plants it’s easier to understand there simplicity in beauty and splendor, especially if simple but wonderfully descriptive words are used. Thank you, and all comments are welcome.

We are in the midst of a rebirth. A floral one, that is. The past winter and spring rain brought to the county a great burst of moisture to the patched land. The spectacle brought forth great flushes of green to our hillsides, and many of us rejoiced in the famous “Super Bloom.” Afterward very few of us have even a mere gaze to them. The non-native grasses dried and browned, while our annual wild flowers returned to their summer slumber. Plants, it seems, are now all but forgotten by the public, and will not be remembered again until the next “Superbloom.”

But it is ignorant of us to not consider them even in their present state. Our hills, waterways, and coasts are still lively places to visit. Even now the plants are still reaping the benefits of the past showers. Places such as Foster Park, Lake Casitas, State Beaches and Parks, and the many preserves and open spaces offer some of the most accessible places to any resident that wishes to view blossoms. One does not need a guide or pair of binoculars to make sense of the enthralling beauty that they present. The back country of Ventura County is a grand sauntering ground, no matter the season!

The coasts are comfortable throughout the year. Our rivers are evergreen, and are best viewed in the fall for their colorful leaf displays. The hillsides are simple to reach, and often have the showiest spring flowers. To the east we find the Santa Monica Mountains, with all there rich magnificent patches of native flora and many popular trails to be tramped during the warm summer months.

So it is with flamboyant joy that we should take a look about ourselves. To enjoy nature is one of those simple pleasures that cannot be experienced otherwise, and hopefully one day all can participate in. And only then can we all joyously shout “Excelsior” in triumphant vigour!

Jacob Marquez
Ventura County

Paramount priority

I wanted to thank the VC Reporter for publishing the Power to Speak article (July 3) “Make the Drilling Moratorium Permanent.” In addition, I wanted to thank the authors for submitting a compelling case for continuing a permanent moratorium on drilling, or as described, “steam injection oil production.”

It is very concerning to learn about the byproducts of oil drilling putting our groundwater at risk of toxic contamination. Our vital groundwater and air quality should not be compromised by industrial pollution. Clean, renewable energy choices are available now. Already there are examples of new business and employment opportunities are being created in communities embracing renewable energy options, (check out the film Paris to Pittsburgh).  The climate crisis requires government, businesses and each of us to take action in reducing carbon emissions. 

Indeed, we should “acknowledge our community and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for prioritizing our health over corporate profit.” Public safety must always be the paramount priority of our elected officials. Let them know you think so too.

David Gilbertson
Camarillo

COMPENSATING SLAVE DESCENDANTS WHILE FORGETTING INDIAN “HOLOCAUST” DESCENDANTS

I find it both outrageous and sad that there is a lot of debate going on in DC (District of Crime) about compensating slave descendants, while forgetting about the Indian “holocaust” descendants.

Between 1700 and 1900, over 15 MILLION native American Indians were slaughtered with white men’s bullets, diseases, and starvation policies.  Where is the concern for their descendants???

EVERYONE remembers the extermination of the Jews during WWII. NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE, (except for me) remembers the extermination of the 15 million Indians!!!  White men’s bullets killed thousands of Indians.

White men’s diseases killed millions.  Deliberate starvation policies killed millions more.   White men killed millions of buffalo, the primary food for millions of Indians.  Buffalo, by the year 1900, were nearly extinct because of the slaughter of the buffalo.

How about the fact that 800 MILLION ACRES of land were stolen from the Indians, between 1700 and 1900!!!   Where is the concern for this outrage??? How about the fact that more than 300 TREATIES  were unilaterally violated by white men, including the “Great White Father”!!! 

AGAIN, why the concern for descendants of slaves, while there is NO concern for the extermination of millions of Indians, violation of their rights, theft of their land, destruction of their way of life, and compensation for their descendants???

JOHN JAY
Voice of Truth
Oxnard

Keep pets and people together

I think it’s high time that legislation pass that would require landlords to allow pets. Since 1982 they have been required to allow children. It’s a double standard because children make more noise and cause more damage. I know from experience because I lived at 790 Cedar Street and that apartment complex had noisy children. The resident manager’s grandson urinated in the parking lot in mid-daylight in front of his grandson the manager.

This is an excerpt from the AAOA about whether or not to allow pets

Reasons for Pets: Numbers of Pet Owners

If you’re not renting to pet owners, you’re missing out on a huge portion of the population. According to the APPA or American Pet Products Association has determined that Americans own 95.6 million cats and 83.3 million dogs. To put that in terms of households, 45.3 million households own at least one cat and 56.7 million households own at least one dog. If you don’t allow pets, you’re missing out on potential renters.

Reasons Against Pets: Pets Damage Property

The problem most landlords face when a tenant moves out is the cost of replacing and repairing items damaged by pets. This includes replacing carpets, fixing scratches on doors, chewed items, and general damage. This is indeed a potential problem, especially if the tenant has poorly behaved pets. Have pet rent and a damage deposit should be able to mitigate those issues.

This reason is very weak. That’s what a deposit is for! Any damage caused by pets gets figured in to the deposit.

Landlord’s Liability

In some circumstances, landlords have been held liable for aggressive or vicious dogs. For that reason, some landlords have restricted the breeds to what is outside of so-called “dangerous breeds” or even have limited size when it comes to pets.

However, the landlord’s liability is limited. According to Nolo’s legal encyclopedia, the landlord can only be held responsible if the landlord knew the dog was vicious and did not have the dog removed, or the landlord cared for or kept the dog.

If you’re concerned about the potential dogs’ behavior, you could insist that the owner produce a record of the dog’s Canine Good Citizen® title that is awarded by the American Kennel Club or AKC. This title is offered to all breeds and mixed breeds by the AKC and demonstrates the dog’s ability to behave correctly in a variety of different circumstances. This does not explain why landlords don’t allow cats. In fact there is a dog who doesn’t even live here. He lives with people who are homeowners and he frequently gets out and defecates on the property (I live in a fourplex). So even if my landlord didn’t accept pets,

Here is a link to an entire article

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/09/25/why-most-landlords-fear-tenants-with-pets_a_21477607/

I met Todd Gloria at Balboa Park while he was speaking on an unrelated topic. I approached him after the event was over and he agreed with some of my points. I mentioned that Petco might help him with his re-election and he said, “what you are saying is a felony.” I had no idea that it was illegal for companies to donate. I thought lobbying was perfectly legal.

Mike Johansen
Ventura

Trump’s corruption and evil

On this day, July Fourth, when we celebrate the humane democratic values behind the founding of the United States, are the people of this nation going to stand up for humanity and decency or capitulate to Trump’s corruption and evil
child-abuse policies on the border?

Which way are we going to turn?

May our fury roll down like a mighty stream!

Clive Leeman
Ojai

Thank you

I want to Affirm and Validate your voice.

Thank you “ Mucho” for your deeply revolutionary words — always profound, direct, true and penetrating!

We are truly in a time of great upheaval and tumult. Change is imminent!

I see lines being drawn, ideals and rights being trampled, lies being fed.

Your bravery to speak is refreshing and much appreciated!!

Vive the solution, a spiritual revolution.

I remember hearing once “Be the change you want to see” or something such as that.

Keep the love coming, my man, we need it!!

Much Aloha
Keith Amato
Ventura County

Consequences of Endangered Species Act

It was easy. The author of the ESA, Congressman Paul (Pete) McCloskey (CA-R), former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Marine Corps Forces/Reserves, would be doing abrupt “about faces” in his grave if he knew how his legislation has been miss-used. That continued misuse only deepens the despair of those of us who seek a restoration of faith and truth in the American government.

Background. As early as 2001 we knew or should have known the Channel Islands Harbor (CIH) water quality would rapidly become marginal and result in health and safety issues including substantial fish kills, “when the circulation provided by the NRG once through cooling (OTC) water circulation pumps at the Mandalay Generating Station (MGS) ceased their operation for any reason.” Those pumps ceased operation in March 2018. However, our CIH presented all concerned levels of government and environmental groups with a unique situation, opportunity and challenge. One that required a waiver from the ESA.

Now we’re faced with the real-life situation that the pumps’ decommissioning is causing an order of magnitude larger destruction of marine and estuarine life in the CIH than their continued limited use for just circulation purposes ever would.

The above-mentioned environmentalists did recognize the disconnect between the stated objectives of the ESA and the actual outcome in this particular (miss) application and said so. … “However, now that the Generating Station is shut down and no longer circulating water through and out of the Edison Canal and Channel Islands Harbor (canal and harbor), water quality impairments in these waters have become evident. We urge the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) to take action to address the negative water quality impacts in the canal and harbor, and to determine the best course of action to remediate and/or prevent pollution of these waters to protect their beneficial uses.” So far, we are still on track for a massive self-inflicted environmental debacle. Get ready for late-breaking news this summer.

Our system solution remains “turn the damned pumps back on.” Maybe Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, can help, since it’s not above her paygrade?

Bob Nast
Oxnard

Speaking about thyroid cancer

My name is Olivia Victoria Robles, I’m 24 years old, born and raised in Ventura. I am a two-time thyroid cancer survivor (Jan 2016, Feb 2019). I live and work in Los Angeles as a model and actress. I have appeared on Netflix, Nickelodeon, and MTV. I make content such as Instagram posts and YouTube videos that detail my experience with this horrible disease. I make my living in front of the camera, and I wear my thyroidectomy and lymph node dissection scars with pride. I hope to use my voice and my platform to shed some light on the darkness that others may be experiencing in silence and in isolation. 

I recently read the article written by Kathy Jean Schultz, titled “Cause Unknown: Why are Ventura County thyroid cancer rates the highest in the state?” I want to start off by saying, THANK YOU for beginning this conversation! Very few people are talking about this disease and I really appreciate that you shed some light on a topic that otherwise doesn’t get much coverage. Hopefully the dialogue and research can continue from here.

There was a large section that explained the difficulty in finding a public figure or willing subject to be interviewed and/or photographed for the article. Basically, I want to say: here I am! I disagree with the statement that this is a totally silent condition, as I’m speaking about it as loudly as I can. I may not be an A-List celebrity but I am part of a limited community of Thyroid cancer survivors, and I intend to spread awareness and hope within this group, as well as to others. 

Another public figure who is vocal about her experience with thyroid cancer is Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just this spring after a viewer noticed a lump on her neck, and urged her to see a doctor. The results were malignant and she recently had surgery to remove her thyroid.

I wanted to let you know that there are definitely people speaking out on this topic. In the case that you would like to continue this conversation as it pertains to your journalism, I am willing and available. If possible, I would like to help the medical research team cited within this article as well. The silence around this condition is stifling, puts patients in isolation upon diagnosis, and absolutely needs more dialogue in order to break the stigma.

Olivia Robles
Ventura

GREAT NEED FOR DESALTING PLANTS

Since Oxnard and Ventura, along with hundreds of other California cities, are being forced to grow their populations by 20 to 30 percent each, over the next 10 years, by idiots in Sacramento (including Governor “Gruesom”), we need to find out how to get enough water for those many hundreds of thousands of residents, who will be moving into “affordable” housing.

Never mind that the only “affordable” housing are tents or trailers.

The state, by forcing this problem upon us, should damned well pay for the cost of building the desalination plants and desalters. 

Around the world, there are more than 30 THOUSAND desalination plants and desalters in operation. Saudi Arabia and 11 other nations get 100 percent of their fresh water from desalination of ocean and ground water. 

How many desalination plants does California have? As far as I can tell, California has five in operation and six more in the planning stage.

What about ground water desalters?  I believe there are somewhere around 25 in operation, including two in Oxnard. We need a MINIMIMUM of 30 more desalination plants and 100 more desalters. 

John Jay
Voice of Truth
Oxnard

A privilege to know him

I would like to thank Nancy Lackey Shaffer for the wonderful article on Don Knapp and D-Day. Don and Evelyn live in the Patrician MHP where I live.  We are all so proud of him. Don and Evelyn are so special of us. Thank you again for letting other people know about him.

Sandra Lamprich
Ventura